Wounded police officer sorry he couldn't do more

Police shot the attackers dead just eight minutes after the first call from the public.

The discoveries, especially of the plan to hire a truck, suggested more could have been killed.

When briefing reporters, Commander Dean Haydon said the police - from the Met and City of London forces - had shown "incredible bravery".

Police are questioning seven suspects over suspected links to the attackers, Pakistani-born British citizen Khuram Butt, Moroccan Rachid Redouane, and Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent.

The 21-year-old worked as a nanny in London and had previously been described as missing since Saturday night. "How did they know each other?"

She said that includes "whether you see something suspicious, you know somebody who has started to behave strangely, you are hiring a vehicle to somebody and you have concerns about them".

"One of the greatest things about London is our defiant unity in the face of adversity and that will not change in the aftermath of this horrific attack".

London Metropolitan Police said the trio's ringleader, Khuram Butt, attempted to rent the large truck online on the morning of June 3 but did not provide payment details when prompted. Police believe the intended atrocity was on a similar scale to that in Nice, France, in August 2016 when a truck drove into a crowd and left 86 people dead.

Zaghba and Redouane had no criminal convictions or such warnings in Britain.

The three terrorists had tied 12 inch (30cm) pink ceramic knives to their wrists and had petrol bombs in the van, it said.

The phoney bombs were simply disposable water bottles wrapped in silver and black tape and attached to leather belts, although they were designed to create "maximum fear", police said. There were also two blow torches which Haydon thought could have been used to light the homemade bombs as part of a possible secondary attack.

"Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Barriers" have been added to central London bridges to prevent vehicles being driven onto the pavement.

Mr Haydon said: "It's feasible when you look at their actions, they were still fairly close to the van, there is a possibility they could have come back to the van". There were also bags of gravel, chairs and a suitcase meant to hide their murderous intent if the rental company or friends asked why they had hired a van.

The 29-year old man is being questioned at a south London police station on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

In addition, police found an English-language Koran during the search of the suspects' safe house, which was opened on a page which contained a verse on martyrdom.

A huge investigation was launched in the wake of the attack, with 18 people arrested so far.

An al Qaida recruiter turned Federal Bureau of Investigation informant, Jesse Morton, told The New York Times he reported to USA authorities that Butt "had expanded his influence" in al Muhajiroun, a banned terror group in the United Kingdom, in 2015. He was jailed a year ago for encouraging support of IS, which has been linked to numerous militant plots in Britain and overseas.

Authorities have not yet found evidence others in the United Kingdom knowingly helped Abedi plan his attack, the sources said.

He said: "From updates on the radio, we were aware that people had got out the van and were attacking people in the market".

"I am humbled by the bravery of an officer who will rush towards a potential suicide bomber thinking only of protecting others", Rowley said while speaking highly of the responding officers.

Police were also reviewing security at "iconic sites", crowded places and major events, and refreshing advice to theatres, bars, shopping centres and sports venues.

  • Leroy Wright